Last week the government announced that buy-to-let landlords could request a payment holiday of three months if their tenants were struggling to pay their rent due to Covid-19.
Landlords will need to be up to date with their mortgage payments to qualify and many lenders now offer online self-certification forms to apply for the mortgage payment holiday.
We approached some of the biggest lenders in the buy-to-let market and asked them about how they were providing mortgage payment holidays. Of the eleven we contacted seven had responded at the time of writing, of which all had an online application process. These lenders also confirmed that landlords could self-certify their need for the payment holiday.
Of the remaining lenders we have used information on their websites to populate the table below.
Barclays is not offering payment holidays to buy-to-let landlords and its website states that bank is 'looking at a way to help our buy-to-let customers in the short term.'
|Lender||Offer buy-to-let payment holiday?||Self-certify status||How to apply|
|Barclays||No||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Coventry Building Society||Yes||Yes||Apply online|
|Lloyds Banking Group||Unclear - no specific reference to buy-to-let||Yes||Apply online|
|Nationwide Building Society (The Mortgage Works)||Yes||Yes||Apply online|
|One Savings Bank - Kent Reliance||Unclear - no specific reference to buy-to-let||Yes||Apply online|
|Paragon Bank||Yes||Yes||Apply online|
|Precise Mortgages||Unclear - no specific reference to buy-to-let||Yes||Apply online|
|NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland||Yes||Yes||Apply online|
|Santander Bank||Yes||Yes||Apply online|
|Virgin Money||Yes||Yes||Apply online|
Landlords that take up the mortgage holiday scheme will get up to three months where they do not need to make a payment to their lender. Landlords are eligible to apply if their mortgage payments are up to date and their tenants cannot pay due to financial difficulties caused by Coronavirus. Lenders have stated that applying for a mortgage payment holiday will not affect the borrowers credit rating. Once the payment holiday has finished the monthly mortgage payment will increase to repay the missed months and additional interest that has accrued.
Santander, for example is asking borrowers to allow 10 working days to process applications, while Nat West states that applications received where the payment date is due in less than 14 days may not be processed in time – the bank has said it will notify landlords within five days of their application to confirm the status of their account. HSBC has stated on its website that it will respond to mortgage holiday applications within seven days and Coventry Building Society is prioritising applications based on the soonest payment date.
Landlords who have a buy-to-let mortgage with The Mortgage Works (part of Nationwide Building Society) should apply through The Mortgage Works website. The building society states it will respond to applications in 10 working days, but it also states that it may need extra time due to high volumes of applications.
The following lenders also provided comments and advice for landlords that may be considering using a mortgage payment holiday.
Coventry Building Society
A spokesperson for Coventry Building Society said “We know that customers might have concerns about their finances at this time. If you are able to maintain your mortgage payments you should continue to do so. However, if your ability to pay has been affected by Coronavirus you can request a payment holiday of up to three months. If you have a buy-to-let mortgage with Coventry Building Society, you can request a mortgage payment holiday online. Just visit our website and fill out the form and we’ll take it from there. You’ll need to be up to date with your payments, not in arrears and you’ll need to confirm that your tenants are having difficulty in paying their rent due to Coronavirus. If you’re already experiencing financial difficulty and are behind on your mortgage repayments, there are similar steps we can take so please call us about how we can help. Our phone lines are extremely busy so please bear with us and only call if you need to.”
A spokesperson from Paragon Bank said “Paragon is fully committed to helping our customers through these difficult times. We have a number of ways that we can help, which includes implementing the Government’s request to offer three-month payment holidays. Customers interested in a mortgage payment holiday should complete the form hosted on the [Paragon] webpage. Payment holidays are just one of the options available for customers that are experiencing financial difficulty.”
Nat West / Royal Bank of Scotland
A NatWest spokesperson said: “As a bank, we are committed to doing the right thing for our customers and communities – this means giving landlords the flexibility to help support their tenants. While it’s not within our remit to compel landlords to pass on savings, we assess each request for support on an individual basis and our experience to date is that those who are getting in touch requesting support are genuinely experiencing financial difficulty, such as a reduction in income.”
Nationwide Building Society
Henry Jordan, Nationwide’s director of mortgages, said: “As the UK’s second largest buy-to-let mortgage provider we feel it is important to extend protection to landlords and their tenants during this uncertain period. We have extended mortgage payment holidays to include rental properties so that landlords with tenants who are unable to meet rental payments because of coronavirus are protected as much as possible. These payment breaks will be able to be arranged via The Mortgage Works - Nationwide’s buy-to-let arm. We would encourage tenants to speak to their landlords if they are impacted or worried about coronavirus to ensure that steps can be taken to support them at this time.”
A Virgin Money spokesperson said ”If customers have been affected by COVID-19 (due to illness or self-isolation) and are worried about what this might mean for them financially, we're here to help. We are offering payment holidays for up to three months and no additional proof or documentation is needed. Customers who may be worried about future payments can apply online through our Virgin Money, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank websites. This applies to BTL as well as residential mortgages.
Our guide sets out the help available for your personal finances during the Coronavirus emergency.
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